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Pre made Christmas Dinner (Calgary)

sweeterpea Nov 30, 2009 09:26 AM

Because we will be travelling right after Christmas Day, we've decided this year looking into ordering a Christmas Dinner from a restaurant to take home -- specifically to eat at home as this way we dont' have to deal with squirrely kids strung out on toys and treats at a restaurant ;o)

The Carriage House has a complete pick-up turkey dinner, we've already looked into it, but looking for more options not so far south. I've been trying to call The Palliser, but can never get anyone from the dining room on the phone, I've called at all hours and left messages, but no return calls.

Does anyone know if The Palliser still does the Christmas Dinner for pick-up? or any other good places that might do the traditional turkey dinner for pick up? Thanks!

  1. sweeterpea Dec 25, 2009 06:09 AM

    Reporting back on our Chistmas Eve dinner courtesy of River Cafe. They sent our food by courier, which was lovely considering their location.

    1. Turkey was approx 20 lbs, trussed, brined and all set to go; changed the foil pan to our roasting pan as the foil pan was quite flimsy. I was pretty impressed as it was stuffed full of herbs, garlic, shallots and on a bed of chopped veggies. Roasted up beautifully.

    2. Sage gravy was quite good, but to split hairs, it didn't have that slow-roasted flavor that you get from making your own gravy. I doctored it up with the pan drippings and a bit of cream and brandy, plus it needed some salt.

    3. The sides were marvelous and everyone loved them. The kids loved the roasted beet and fennel salad, which came with a goat cheese vinaigrette. The squash with the seed and nut struesel was a big hit as well. Definitely going to reproduce that for family dinners in the future. There was someone questioning pre-made mashed potatoes. Not a problem. They came all ready to bake, and I just heated some milk in a pan and heated them that way. Came out like fresh.

    4. Cranberry Apple relish was fantastic -- my only complaint was there was not enough ;o)

    5. Sugar pumpkin creme fraiche pie with candied pumpkin seeds -- nice homemade c rust and was extremely delcicious; my husband isn't crazy about pumpkin pie and he had seconds.

    Overall, the meal was well-worth the convience for me; it was a stress-free day; the instructions were clear about reheating and finishing off the meal, and cooking the turkey was a no-brainer . I would highly recommend this if someone is too busy for the shopping and cooking of Christmas Dinner. Everything was delicious. We are considering doing it again next year as we're hosting a huge family dinner. Merry Christmas!

    1. m
      mcglutton Dec 6, 2009 06:41 PM

      More Than Meats on 11th St sell smoked Duck. It is fabulous but note that its pre order and costs you around 30 bucks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcglutton
        sweeterpea Dec 7, 2009 09:24 AM

        Thanks, Beks! my husband is now leaning towards that as he is very paranoid about dry turkey. Smoked duck sounds interesting too. I don't think the kids would like that, but maybe I'll order one to make appys with at another time

      2. b
        Beks Dec 6, 2009 03:12 PM

        I'm getting my Christmas dinner from River Cafe. You can view the menu in their catering section www.river-cafe.com/pdf/TurkeyDinnerCh... I'm soooo excited!

        1. sweeterpea Dec 1, 2009 12:52 PM

          Fresh Kitchen seems like a good option, thanks to all who suggested, plus I like their menu. We have not had any food from there before -- and it comes down to:

          Is their food good? Was thinking of going over there tomorrow to try a couple of their dishes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sweeterpea
            h
            hsk Dec 5, 2009 05:35 PM

            Did you go? How was it? They had great food at the Rocky Mountain festival, I've been meaning to try it out.

            1. re: hsk
              sweeterpea Dec 6, 2009 10:10 AM

              I did go over and brought home a few things to sample.

              1. Broek Pork Acres Loin Pork Chop with Fennel and Onion Relish -- I figured this would be the litmus test as this type of cut tends to be dry (husband is paranoid about dry turkey and I don't need him techy on Christmas Day). Was slightly tough, but very good.

              2. Chicken Pot Pie - A real winner!!! stuffed full of chicken and tastes very homemade. Kids loved it.

              3. Mushroom Bruschetta - lovely. Except I noticed the expiry date was a week ago after everyone ate it, woops!!! No one got sick. But I will mention to Fresh Kitchen, that shouldn't happen. I assumed everything out for sale would have a reasonable expiry date.

              4. Slow cooked Lamb Shoulder with Cranbery Reduction. Very good, but would have been better I guess if you had it straight after cooking; the lamb had a dryish texture but was very tender, if that makes any sense. A very good deal with three generous slices of lamb and slow roasted heirloom carrots and potatoes for $12.95

              5. Macaroni and Cheese -- their signature dish, apparently. Was pretty good; nice smoky cheese flavor. The sauce had a lumpy texture to it, almost like cottage cheese. I would have appreciated a smoother texture, but the kids vaccumed it up.

              6. Chocolate Bread Pudding -- to die for! amazing. Heat it slightly for an unctious, beautiful texture. The texture was very smooth, maybe made with ?bread crumbs. Wonderful.

              7. Bought a small amount of the Brioche Bacon Dressing. Fantastic!

              Yes, we will be ordering our dinner from them. The shop has a great selection of foodie items, including very nice foodie gift boxes -- disappointed we already bought the baskets for my husband's business contacts, will keep in mind for next year. They use local ingredients when they can, noticed the Poplar Farms garlic mashed potatoes, and I really appreciate that.

              Thanks for eveyrone's help, I think we will have a very nice "premade" Christmas Dinner.

          2. j
            jamtart12 Dec 1, 2009 09:31 AM

            Fresh Kitchen in Altadore is doing a full christmas dinner; i find their brioche stuffing and mashed potatoes better than sunterra's.
            also they have really yummy homeade gravy
            they are closed christmas day but you can get it on christmas eve and warm up the next day
            i'm not sure if that is still too far south but they are at 42nd ave and 20th street
            hope that helps.

            1. c
              cancowboy Dec 1, 2009 09:12 AM

              The Westin used to do this - not sure if they still do.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cancowboy
                h
                hsk Dec 5, 2009 05:33 PM

                Yes they still do, they had an ad in the Herald today. Looks like whole turkeys. Pickup Dec 24-26.
                http://twitter.com/westincalgary

              2. sweeterpea Dec 1, 2009 06:59 AM

                Ahhh! Raw Bar! did not think of them. Would prefer to not do reheating. Blackfoot Inn is a bit too far for us, thanks for the suggestions.

                1. d
                  derfster Nov 30, 2009 04:00 PM

                  The Blackfoot Inn used to do a take out Christmas dinner. And it was about as good a my Mom used to make! I was amazed...

                  1. sweeterpea Nov 30, 2009 12:21 PM

                    Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like the Palliser no longer does this, plus I was told (with great deal of disdain may I add) from the Hyatt that "we DO NOT do this". No answer at Mise En Place, but I do not think they would be open Christmas Day.

                    We have had mostly mediocre food from The Main Dish, so do not wish to get anything there. Looks like The Carriage House will have to do, but if anyone has any ideas or any other suggestions I'm all ears :o)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sweeterpea
                      h
                      hsk Nov 30, 2009 02:36 PM

                      I think if you're looking to pick up on Christmas Day you're pretty much stuck with hotel restaurants. You could try Raw Bar, they did turkey for Thanksgiving and they are open on Christmas Day.

                      If you're OK to pick it up on Christmas eve and reheat it on Christmas day, you have more options, I know Sunterra has one for $31.99 including bread, dessert, coffee and tea: http://www.sunterramarket.com/st_doclib/009/29D/SunterraHolidayCateringMenu2009.pdf and Ed's has one for $16 for turkey and trimmings: http://www.edsrestaurant.com/eds/edfe...
                      There are others, I'm sure I've seen newspaper ads in mid-december.

                    2. maplesugar Nov 30, 2009 09:42 AM

                      The Hyatt or Sunterra came to mind first but in terms of non-hotel restaurants/stores I'm not sure when you'd have to take delivery - same with Main Dish or Mise en Place. I wonder if CRMR at Home will be offering something like that this year?

                      Sorry I seem to have more questions than answers for you. Good luck with your quest, and with travelling with the kids :)

                      ETA: Just re-read your post (after coffee) you're travelling after Christmas Day... my vote would be for pickup from Sunterra, Main Dish, Mise or (if they offer it) CRMR at home.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: maplesugar
                        electroleum Nov 30, 2009 11:15 AM

                        I would check Main Dish. They specialize in take-home dinners.

                      2. j
                        jonny301 Nov 30, 2009 09:39 AM

                        You might want to try Fresh Kitchen in Garrison...

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